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Special CBI Court Discharges Maran Brothers In Illegal Telephone Exchange Case

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| March 14 , 2018 , 17:56 IST

A special CBI court on Wednesday discharged the former Telecom Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran, and seven others accused in the illegal telephone exchange case.

Special Judge Natarajan said, “There is no prima facie material against the accused. Hence they are discharged from the case."

The others accused were Dayanidhi Maran's personal secretary V. Gauthaman, BSNL former Chief General Manager K. Brahmanathan, former Deputy General Manager M. Velusamy, Sun TV network's Vice-president, S.Kannan and a technician K.S.Ravi.

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CBI had accused Dayanidhi Maran of having installed a private telephone exchange with 764 telephone lines at his residence in Chennai to facilitate illegal uplink of SUN TV data. It alleged that he had caused a loss of Rs 1.78 crores to the exchequer.

However, Counsel for the Maran brothers and others argued that they are innocent and have not committed any irregularities as alleged by the prosecution. On the discharge pleas filed by the brothers, their counsel Kabil Sibal last month had contended that the case was foisted on them.

In November, the CBI strongly opposed the discharge petitions filed by the brothers in the case.

Maintaining that all charges framed against them, the CBI wanted the special court to dismiss the discharge applications moved by the duo and also filed an additional affidavit.

Last year the Maran brothers were discharged in the Aircel-Maxis deal case on similar grounds. Special Judge OP Saini had said, “I am satisfied that the entire case is based on the misreading of the official files, contradictory statements of the witnesses as well as speculations and surmises of Sh. C. Sivasankaran. I have no hesitation in recording no prima facie case warranting framing of charge against any of the accused is made out.”